TAG FOR TIGER: Tag Heuer is standing by Tiger Woods. Contrary to speculation in the press, the Swiss watch brand plans to “continue its relationship” with the troubled golf star, who has been a brand ambassador since 2002. Tag said over the weekend, however, that it planned to “modify” Woods’ role in the coming months’ marketing programs in order to respect Woods’ desire for privacy. “The partnership with Tiger Woods will continue,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, president and chief executive of Tag Heuer, “but we will downscale the use of his image in certain markets for a period of time, depending on his decision about returning to professional golf. We will continue to actively support the Tiger Woods Foundation.” The company said its relationship with Woods has always been “extremely professional and productive.”

This story first appeared in the December 21, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

AL-SABAH IN ACTION: Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah is setting up a retail company that he says won’t go head-to-head with Villa Moda. Al-Sabah, who still holds a 30 percent stake in the pioneering Kuwaiti retailer, told WWD he’s meeting with luxury brands now. His concept is “fashion meets food meets art,” and he also will be offering limited edition products. Al-Sabah added the new project also will have an e-commerce element. “We don’t have the equivalent of Net-a-porter.com in the Middle East,” he said, adding the business will launch in Kuwait and then be rolled out across the region. In September, Al-Sabah stepped down as chairman of Villa Moda after clashing with its majority shareholder, Dubai International Financial Center, over the retailer’s future.

DECKED OUT: There will be a slew of new Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas starting in March. The races will be held several times a year from locations such as Auckland, New Zealand; La Maddalena, Italy, and a yet-to-be-disclosed part of the Middle East. The final race in the series is to be in Hong Kong, from Jan. 9 to 24, 2011. The Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas will group participants from previous Vuitton races, such as Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle Racing for the U.S.

WESTWOOD’S BLUE JEANS: Vivienne Westwood is set to give denim a touch of her punky aesthetic. The designer has collaborated with Lee Jeans to launch a denim collection as part of her Anglomania label, called The Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and Lee collection. The debut collection for fall will launch to buyers next month, and will include styles such as superskinny jeans and microshorts for women, along with bondage jeans and skinny jeans for men. Washes will run from indigo denim to metallic gold- and copper-colored denim to denim printed with a trompe l’oeil lace design.

“It is very important for us to work with a denim brand like Lee with such a strong heritage,” said Carlo D’Amario, managing director of Vivienne Westwood. Prices for the collection will range from about 80 pounds, or $128 at current exchange, to 200 pounds, or $320. The line will be sold at Vivienne Westwood boutiques and selected retailers, and the collection is planned to run for more than one season.

OLE OLE: Talk about a bullish approach to business. Spanish luxury house Loewe has tapped fellow countryman and celebrated matador Cayetano Rivera to be the face of its upcoming fragrance for guys (to be launched in the fall) and to front the label’s ready-to-wear and accessories collection for men.

FOOD AND FASHION: They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Retailer Jay Kos is hoping the same holds true for his wallet. Today, Kos, who owns the store on Madison Avenue, will launch a blog, called Jay Kos, the Bon Viveur: The Gentleman’s Guide to the Epicurean. The difference between his blog and others targeted to the fashion customer is that Kos’ will revolve around food. “I love to cook and food is part of my inspiration for my fashion,” said the retailer, who opened his first store in New York in 1996.

Each month, jaykos.com will feature Kos shopping at the green market in his favorite outfits and then whipping up a different dish. The first? Lamb and sausage meatballs, purchased while wearing an olive-and-brown suit. According to the blog: “Food…fashion. Food through its amazing colors, textures and taste, inspire me to create beautiful clothing, whether it is a bright yellow egg dish that becomes a hopsack cashmere jacket of the same hue, or a green cashmere sweater born from a vibrant pea.”

Although Kos has other interests including mountain biking, the blog will remain focused on food. “I don’t want this to be a man’s guide on how to be a man,” he said. “There are plenty of those out there.” There will, however, be a link that will take interested foodies to the Jay Kos Web site in case they want to pick up that olive suit.


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